Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 4

Outline and Background

The King's Praise - Daniel 4:1-3

The King's Perplexity and Positiveness - Daniel 4:4-9

The King's Problem - Daniel 4:10-18

The King's Punishment - Daniel 4:19-26

The King's Procrastination - Daniel 4:27-29

The King's Pride and Perversion - Daniel 4:30-33

The King's Preservation - Daniel 4:34-37

Application and Typical Prophecies

The King's Punishment - Daniel 4:19-26

Like Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel is perplexed, but only for a little while. The prophet is terrified by thoughts of what will happen to the king, and his compassionate alarm is apparent to the king. Daniel would have applied the dream to the king’s enemies if possible!

Did Daniel love Nebuchadnezzar? Obviously he did, as seen from his own reaction to the interpretation. Yet, as with the prophet Nathan, he had to tell the king, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). That is tough love!

Because Daniel’s interpretation of this dream and visions is so self-explanatory, only a brief summary follows.

1. Nebuchadnezzar, you are the tree.

2. The watcher, a holy one sent down from heaven, is an angel announcing the decree of the Most High.

3. It is decreed that you will become mentally deranged and men will drive you from your kingdom. You will imagine yourself one of the beasts of the field, eating and sleeping with them for seven years, until you learn that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, giving it to whomsoever He wills.

4. The stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground. This indicates that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom shall be secured for him until the lesson is learned. The fact that the
stump is not uprooted indicates the preserving of his own life, as well as his kingdom.

5. The seven times (years) of malady will end with Nebuchadnezzar knowing that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men.

Nebuchadnezzar does not record whether Daniel interpreted the meaning of “let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.” The probable interpretation is that those around the king would abandon him as soon as his insanity appeared. They would give up on him, never anticipating his return to the throne. How many people view Christ this way? Amazingly, Jesus’ own family thought He was out of His mind (Mark 3:21), while others thought He was raving mad (John 10:19).

C. S. Lewis has correctly pointed out that “either Jesus is a lunatic, a liar or He is Lord.” There are no other choices!

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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